| Latest Crime News | Sunday April 29 2012 17:08
A coroner has highlighted a tragic murder suicide as an example of the all too frequently fatal nature of violent and abusive relationships.
Thomas Hiki killed his estranged partner Nicole Barker, them himself, in a caravan at a motor camp near Nelson in April 2010.
A Nelson coroner, Carla na Nagara, has found there were plenty of signs of risk: Hiki had previously attempted suicide, he had a gun, his violence against Ms Barker escalated and he threatened her life, and he was depressed.
The coroner says the case illustrates the particular danger faces by victims of domestic violence and abuse when they move to end a relationship.
Women's Refuge head Heather Henare says people need to know the risk factors.
"It's not just something women need to know, it's actually what we as New Zealanders need to know, the community needs to know and understand."
Ms Henare says the coroner's inquiry has found all the signs heading towards the fatal conclusion were there.
"He was becoming more controlling and more aggressive, he had a gun, and he had threatened to use the gun. I think if that had been established very early on in the piece by someone talking to her and doing a risk assessment, that would've helped protect her."
Women's Refuge has danger signs of violent relationships listed on its website and urges everyone to learn them.
Photo: NZ Herald